Y’all Spoil Me

I know I say this all the time, but I feel really lucky to have the core group of readers and commenters I do here. Writing for Pith is a really strange experience. I like the SouthComm folks and appreciate the latitude they give me. But the longer I blog over there, the less I understand the people who comment. Like, I really do have questions that nag me.

Like, I consider myself to be a funny person. I’m sure sometimes I try to be funny and fail, but I feel like it’s always pretty clear when I’m trying to be funny that I am, in fact, trying to be funny. But the longer I write over there, the more I’m convinced that, no matter what I write, I am read as being, at all times, deadly serious and practically shrill (god, yes, that word).

Now, on the one hand, I’m not too worried about changing my writing style in order to account for this. If you don’t get I’m funny, you don’t get I’m funny. But I do wonder if they just always experience the written word as this ponderous deadly serious thing or if they can’t give a woman a funny voice in their heads or what? That I’m really curious about–whether they ever find written things funny or if it’s just a matter of mismatched skill sets.

I also wonder about the folks who seem to have clear, and yet unspoken expectations of what I should be doing and who, to me, anyway, feel like they think I’m doing something wrong when I’m not meeting their expectations, even when I have no idea what they are or why I might be responsible to them in some way.

Again, not that I could or would change to meet their expectations, but I am always really curious about what they think is going on there. Like they open up Pith and think they’re getting… what? I know we al bring different expectations to spaces, and I am really curious about how those expectations are created and then how they persist even when the people who have them must be continually disappointed.

I don’t know. It’s a weird thing. I rarely feel like I’m actually talking to people over there, just the characters people play on the internet, but it continually makes me grateful for this here.

Thanks, guys.

Tori Amos and the Book

So, in the last chapter, there’s a point when almost everyone is a minster’s kid–Tori Amos, Nina Simone, Bessie Smith, the main character, her possessed friend–and the main character puts “God” on to play and the possessing spirit lets them get no further than the first line before insisting they turn it off. I’m not the biggest Tori Amos fan, but I do feel like “God” came along and sounded like it was written just for me.  Everything else Amos does, whether I love it or not, I feel like “Go and be well, Tori Amos, you wrote a song that I needed to hear.”

It was a song, I felt, written by a minister’s daughter for minister’s daughters. I don’t know if you don’t have the experience of living with your dad’s relationship with his Powerful Boss, that “God sometimes you just don’t come through. Do you need a woman to look after you?” resonates in the same way.

I’ve been thinking a lot about who the ideal reader of my book would be and what I hope he or she takes from it. And I would like it if everyone loved it, of course, but I’ve been writing it for ministers’ kids. I hope it’s something they read and feel like “Hey, someone’s been where I am.”

Anyway Sady Doyle has an awesome defense of Tori Amos up over at Bitch–“Amos’s music and lyrics were pretty, emotionally expressive, vulnerable: in other words, stereotypically feminine. But they weren’t coy or girlish; they were laced with anger and sadness, and they addressed taboo topics.”

Yeah, exactly. I hope that’s what I’m lacing my writing with, too, as well as a huge pinch of funny, because, really, laughter is important. A woman laughing is revolutionary, still.

Come See Me Read!

If you belong to the Gordon Jewish Community Center, it’s free. If not, it’s $15. In the meantime, I will be calling nm every day just whispering “Chevra Kadisha” into the phone until I either pronounce it correctly or she hits me with her umbrella, which, lucky for me, will be difficult since I will be calling her. When I see her in person, I will just shake my head in concern, “Oh, who could this weirdo calling you and mispronouncing ‘Chevra Kadisha’ into the phone be? Kids today. I swear. In my day, when you prank called someone, you didn’t use the opportunity as a language lesson. Oh, sure there were puns. ‘Is your refrigerator running? You’d better go catch it.’ But it was assumed the prank caller had a basic grasp of the linguistic trick she was attempting. When they catch your caller, they should pelt her with cookies or something.”

I think that, as long as I don’t call her while she’s in umbrella-striking distance of me, it should be fine.

Anyway, here are the details.

Believe me, now that I know people will have to pay to come, I will try to cram as many interesting things in there as possible. Okay, not really. But I will consider whether I could read while balancing a small bird on my head.

Lord Almighty, We Are Governed by Perverts

Click here if you want to read about state legislators sitting around speculating on who might suckle at his mother’s breast.

Luckily, sanity prevailed.

Still, there’s something really weird about grown-ass people sitting around being “But what about five?” “Oh, what about 35?!”

I give props to Mike Faulk for getting this passed out of committee without suggesting his fellow senators seek therapy.

Day Two of Finally Getting Over This Cold

Considering that Day One was Monday, that should tell you how this is going. Today I was like, damn it, I am going to walk this dog if it’s the last thing I do! And, really, by the time I got to the big hackberry in the AT&T yard, I thought it might be. I was composing my 911 call in my head. “I am dying, please send someone who won’t be afraid of my dog.”

Seriously, a walk I walk all the time and I was sweating and gasping for breath like I’d just spent the last 60 years in bed, just walking to the AT&T building.

But I think I shook something loose, as I had a good coughing fit and then I could breathe better than I have in ages. We’ll just have to see if my body will have its revenge.

I thought we might get one more snow before good weather set in for good, but everything in nature disagrees with me. Everything is out and feeling the weather. We heard a turkey gobbling in the far field, the birds were all chirping, and a bunny came over to us to see if we needed humping.

People that’s how spring it is, when a bunny sees you and your 60 lb pit bull and his first thought is “Oh, better go see if those things need humping.” And his second thought is “Shit! Run away! Run away!”

Mrs. Wigglebottom would have been happy to sniff him, though, if he’d been braver, I’m sure.

I tried to tell the cats about our exciting walk, but the orange cat was having none of it. He literally shot me a look that, even across species, I could tell meant “The bunny probably had rabies.”

Oh, lord, did I tell you that the cats have taken up this new hobby? It’s where they sit on either side of some barrier–could be a window, could be a screen door, could be a curtain, could be a chair, and just holler at each other.



And then if you go over and try to rectify it, by like moving the chair or opening the door, they both stare at you in dazed confusion. “Why would you do that, man?”

So, fuck if I know what’s going on. I assume it’s some kind of art project?

Cats are weird. Hell, bunnies are weird. I guess it’s just the time of the year.